Tuesday, May 25, 2010

chasing pavements

hot days drenched
in latent love,
the beats slow
and melt, like
crayolas on a frying pan.
yours is grey
and mine is red, a
'trip the lights fantastic'
blob of awesome.
day to night, the
pavement burns but
still feels so good
to walk on,


Saturday, May 22, 2010

serendipitous movement

i have spent almost my entire life barreling into dance headfirst. when i was the tender age of three, my mother enrolled me in creative movement and tap classes at her aerobics studio because i had too much energy to pay attention to anything other than things that were shiny or that i could chase, like dogs or bugs. i was accident prone and mischievous, which is not really a good combination with the frilly dresses my mother preferred me to wear to daycare. inevitably, once i found the glory that is pants, i pretty much gave them up for good so that i could hang upside down on the monkey bars without anybody seeing my days of the week panties.

so when dance was introduced to me as a toddler, the leotards were of great appeal as a form of clothing, because they didn't show anything except for the pudgy tummies of me and my classmates. dance became one of the great joys of my childhood... i always looked forward to my classes because unlike school, i didn't have to read and write and learn math. it was an hour out of my day that i could listen to music and run around pretending i was a princess. and soon after, when i started classes that were more deft in the ballet language, it was the first time i was praised for my abilities in anything; at school i was easily distracted and often berated for my lack of interest in all subjects besides art class, which evidently was only there because the teachers wanted to have a smoke break away from babysitting snotnose little kids.

i was the first in my class to be put on pointe, at eleven. my teacher would point out my feet to other students as what they should desire in ballet. i was given special solos and eventually, cast in company roles by the time i reached trainee status at fifteen. the harder i worked, the more i was rewarded by both my body and my artistic directors, and soon ballet was the only thing i realized i was good enough at to make a career out of. and though i was always jealous of my older brother for his immense capacity for intellectualism, i knew that ballet was going to be my golden ticket to gaining appreciation from my parents and those who would come to see me. my first step in this was getting contracted into a ballet company in atlanta the year i graduated college. it was a principal contract at 21, and i knew this was the start to many great things to come.

i was only half right. in february of my first year with the company i was rear-ended at 70 mph, totaling my car and moving my spinal column in my pelvic cavity, causing severe nerve pain and limiting the mobility of my lower back and legs. my flexibility was cut in half on my right side, and i would have bouts of partial blindness in my right eye if i would move certain ways. i went to sports medicine therapists and spine doctors and with each consultation i lost more and more hope in ever returning to the stage in the condition i had left it. at most, with therapy and possibly surgery, the doctors were telling me that i could only get back to about 80 percent of what i was before the accident.

i had spent my entire life working towards something that was taken away from me in a millisecond. i became severely depressed and began having identity issues... if i wasn't a ballet dancer, who was i? it had defined me my entire life; it was as natural to me as walking. thus began my journey to figure out who i was without the great umbrella of dance shrouding over me.

i began teaching more and producing my own works of choreography. i picked up my old 84 minolta and started taking pictures again, capturing the moments i thought were beautiful. i wrote more, any time i could. i drank more and allowed myself to loosen the strings a little bit on my life. took other classes besides ballet, like hip-hop and lyrical, and actually found out i really liked those forms of dance. i began dancing burlesque and enjoyed the freedom and campiness of the shows. i moved to san francisco, went on tour for five months, moved to boston, and moved to new york. i opened myself up to the options of one day having my own design company for the little bobbles i like to make, like eyepatches and pasties. i let myself grow into someone that wasn't defined by past, instead, becoming someone who is shaped by the present.

in other words, instead of growing interlocked in an art i had studied my entire life, i allowed the passion for the art i loved so dearly influence the person who had been shielded by it to unlock and open up to new ideas and experiences.

just recently i found an old friend of mine on facebook, a girl i danced with for about seven years when i was training. she was always the most promising one in class, the student that was blessed with the body and talent for ballet. when she graduated, she decided to take a job with the new york city ballet, one of the most prestigious companies in the world. i had found out that three years after she took the job, she quit ballet. she ended up going to school and after she gained her degrees, auditioned for the pennsylvania ballet, which is now where she dances. i asked her why she didn't continue on with nycb, and she responded brilliantly.

"i didn't know who i was anymore. basically, i became this sheep, this number... and i needed a break to find my own identity. so i went to ithaca and got a degree, and a year later, decided i was ready to dance again, as my own person with my own style. i wanted to know who i was after someone else defining me for so many years."

lovely. and i think it was the same for me, albeit the fact that my break was not a break i actually thought i needed. however, looking back, i see that it was. i gave myself time to figure out what i really loved, and not just what i was really good at. and i may not be rich and i may not be that well-known for my work, but it just makes me realize further that there are so many cool things to come, ballet or not.

my definition is mine. and that's fucking awesome.


Thursday, May 20, 2010


TEN. bad music.

NINE. methface.

EIGHT. the inability to make a good movie. or even make a bad movie look okay on the movie poster.

SEVEN. being able to google "lindsay lohan drunk photos" and have over 25 pages of links to pictures of you bombed out of your mind. my favorite: lindsay lohan drunk (i.e. her normal state)


SIX. having this trainwreck as your mother-slash-enabler. ugh.

FIVE. having a younger sister that wants to be just like you, even though you are a coke-and-famewhore out of work actress who spends money on shit you don't need, never wear, and can't afford. you're fucking fifteen. put on a normal size dress and take off those hooker heels, lindsay-in-training...

"ALI, ON BIG SISTER LINDSAY: "I grew up watching Lindsay, and it made me want to do what she does. Just the whole vibe. Being there, being on camera, or onstage, with everybody listening to you…it's so cool when people look up to you. I've already been asked for my autograph, and it's just a really good feeling to have."

FOUR. being genetically related to michael lohan, tied with himself in first place as the world's biggest douche and most horrible excuse for a father in the history of the world, up in the rankings with other bad excuses for humans such as bill o'reilly, kanye west, and biff tannen from back to the future. you're awful, michael lohan. go kill yourself for the sake of the rest of the population.

THREE. becoming a lesbian only to date a woman who looks like a nineteen year old boy. samantha ronson, really? i mean, really. couldn't you have gone lipstick, lindsay?

TWO. being compared to a pill-popping home-wrecking actress who overdosed before the age of forty. i love myself some marilyn, but her downward spiral is eerily parallel to lindsanity's.

ONE. being lindsay lohan.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

my summer is here again

oh, so happy,
this little smile
inside my chest, this
light, this
new small sprig of
something sweet, and
growing, day by day
by day by day...
i want to walk through
rose gardens laughing
and lay on the grass
blanketed by breeze,
squint up at you
with sun in my eyes,
and breathe in
your skin, freckled
and smooth like
cookie cream filling.
these days of late
have been my
reason why.

lately i've been so happy it hurts at times. i'm bursting at my seams and tearing at my sheets...

thank you,
thank you,
thank you.


Friday, May 14, 2010


i wish i could play an instrument. all i got are my dang feets.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

a little lesson in biology

"A relationship, I think, is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark." -Woody Allen

it's true. wikipedia says so...

Unlike bony fish, sharks do not have gas-filled swim bladders for buoyancy. Instead, sharks rely on a large liver, filled with oil that contains squalene and the fact that cartilage is about half as dense as bone.[13] The liver constitutes up to 30% of their body mass.[16] The liver's effectiveness is limited, so sharks employ dynamic lift to maintain depth and then sink when they stop swimming. Sand tiger sharks are also known to store air in their stomachs, using the stomach as a swim bladder. Most sharks need to constantly swim in order to breathe and cannot sleep very long, if at all, or they will sink.
Like other fish, sharks extract oxygen from seawater as it passes over their gills. Unlike other fish, shark gill slits are not covered, but lie in a row behind the head. A modified slit called a spiracle lies just behind the eye; the spiracle assists water intake during respiration and plays a major role in bottom dwelling sharks. Spiracles are reduced or missing in active pelagic sharks.[11] While the shark is moving, water passes through the mouth and over the gills in a process known as "ram ventilation". While at rest, most sharks pump water over their gills to ensure a constant supply of oxygenated water. A small number of species have lost the ability to pump water through their gills and must swim without rest. These species are obligate ram ventilators and would presumably asphyxiate if unable to move.

and so there is too a likeness with love...

Biological models of love tend to see it as a mammalian drive, similar to hunger or thirst.[9] Psychology sees love as more of a social and cultural phenomenon. There are probably elements of truth in both views. Certainly love is influenced by hormones (such as oxytocin), neurotrophins (such as NGF), and pheromones, and how people think and behave in love is influenced by their conceptions of love. The conventional view in biology is that there are two major drives in love: sexual attraction and attachment. Attachment between adults is presumed to work on the same principles that lead an infant to become attached to its mother. The traditional psychological view sees love as being a combination of companionate love and passionate love. Passionate love is intense longing, and is often accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate); companionate love is affection and a feeling of intimacy not accompanied by physiological arousal.
Studies have shown that brain scans of those infatuated by love display a resemblance to those with a mental illness. Love creates activity in the same area of the brain where hunger, thirst, and drug cravings create activity. New love, therefore, could possibly be more physical than emotional. Over time, this reaction to love mellows, and different areas of the brain are activated, primarily ones involving long-term commitments.
There is evidence in a variety of species that the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin are involved in the bonding process, and in other forms of prosocial and reproductive behavior. Both chemicals facilitate pair bonding and maternal behavior in experiments on laboratory animals. In humans, there is evidence that oxytocin and vasopressin are released during labor and breastfeeding, and that these events are associated with maternal bonding. According to one model, social isolation leads to stress, which is associated with activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the release of cortisol. Positive social interaction is associated with increased oxytocin. This leads to bonding, which is also associated with higher levels of oxytocin and vasopressin, and reduced stress and stress-related hormones.[15]
Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of trust in laboratory studies on humans. It has been called the "cuddle chemical" for its role in facilitating trust and attachment.[16] In the reward centers of the limbic system, the neurotransmitter, dopamine may interact with oxytocin and further increase the likelihood of bonding. One team of researchers has argued that oxytocin only plays a secondary role in affiliation, and that endogenous opiates play the central role. According to this model, affiliation is a function of the brain systems underlying reward and memory formation.[17]

and this last tidbit also plays a role in sexual endeavors, which links the two others together:

In biology, anaerobic respiration is a way for an organism to produce usable energy without the involvement of oxygen; it is respiration without oxygen.

so. for a shark to breathe, it must move forward using ram ventilation. for a relationship to survive, it must move forward and develop bonding attributes, which include the stimulation of oxytocin and vasopressin, neurotrophins, and pheromones which increases the chance of stimulation through sexual attraction, which inevitably leads to sex, in which we could assume that anaerobic respiration occurs during physical exchanges.

so. it looks like we have a dead shark on our hands, alright?

let it wash up on shore and get eaten by the gulls already. sheesh.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

le lit est avec moi

this was my first night in my brand-new bed. and it was lovely. the mattress itself isn't so much comfortable that say, firm... but it's a bed nonetheless and it's way more comfortable than trying to fit my lanky ass on a couch that is five inches longer than my torso. or, sleeping on a bed of coats on the floor, which i should compare to sleeping on a bed of coats on the floor.

either way, you're sleeping on a bed of coats on the floor, and it will never even come close to say, a sleeping bag, or even just a simple yoga mat. you may as well just sleep on the floor. cause perpetually, that's what you are doing anyway.

so i'm laying here, on my firm (but not coats) mattress, relishing the fact that my room, for the first time in new york city, actually resembles a room. not a place where we can store our empty boxes and loose books; not a large litterbox of clothes that my cats can piss on; not a cold resemblance of a mistake i made that lost a good friend...

it's a room, and it's mine, and i finally feel like i have somewhat of a home.

home is a funny thing. i've lived here, in this apartment in brooklyn, for eight months now. and this is the first time in almost a year that i can step back and get a good look at the quilt that is slowly starting to come together to keep me warm. it's not there all the way, and my feet still kind of hang out the bottom, but it's getting there, and by winter that quilt will hopefully cover the entire length of my body and still have room for one more.

the two years of my life have been me moving around, in atlanta, on tour, in boston, and now here; and with all the disarray it feels good to have something i can call my own. not a place that i moved into cause i had no other place to go. all of this is mine, and a sanctuary that i don't have to share if i don't want to.

yeah, there's some kinks to work out. i'm painting a mural to go over my bed, moving the artwork from there into the kitchen, and getting frames for the creepy dance posters my brother got me for christmas a couple years back. i still need a dresser that won't look like one out of a salvador dali painting and i probably would like to invest in a bookshelf and some paint for the walls.

but no matter how you dress it, it's still mine, and i don't feel as lost as i have during the last couple months.

way to go, me.


Monday, May 10, 2010

sunday to monday

i want more of this, the days that are going by sandwiched in sheets and breeze, slivers of sunlight on my skin in the birth of this spring two-thousand-ten; i haven't been this light for weeks...
it occurred to me yesterday, what kind of thanks are in order. i feel like something has broken inside me, in a really beautiful, really clean way inside me. not like when you break a bone or lacerate the skin, the painful moment when you realize someone doesn't love you the way you love them...
i felt as if there has been a crack in the wall, and a streaks of light are pouring through from the other side; golden and gilded and greedy to fight their way to open air.
i feel new.
i feel good.
i feel safe.

thank you, for doing that for me. i really like it.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

ok go(odbye)

"You know you can't keep lettin' it get you down
And you can't keep draggin' that dead weight around.
If there ain't all that much to lug around,
Better run like hell when you hit the ground."

alright, already,
the horse is beaten to
a bloody pulp, it's
organs are strewn
across the floor like mulch
and thanks for saying, even
though i knew, it's time,
it's time to forget
about you and
your simple smile, your
inked on skin, your eyes
i wanted to go swimming in,
your art, your hands, your
curt-ish voice,
a vice, the ropes so
hard to fray, now just
leave, just go away, and
let me be, let me start
again, cause again
is what i look better in.
okay, goodbye, we've
had enough, you're gone,
i'm done, no
need to try
ok go, feet out
the door.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

the lyrics meant so much

so clear today, a
picture-perfect painting
on my skin... the
high noon sun is
an hour early
but welcome just the same.
the breeze is
just in time to
clear my cluttered
mind, shake
the dust off the
paintings and fill
the space with the sound
of dancing leaves
above my head.
my breath comes easy,
my hearts beats slower,
and finally,
finally, these
tribulations move over
making way for
a smile, making way for
this stolen silence,
making way for sanity
to merge in to my space.
the possibilities seem endless
in the coming days of
dusk and summer.